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Supernatural S09E04: "Slumber Party"


Soooo... okay, "Slumber Party" could have been better. The flashbacks to 1935 served a minimal storytelling purpose at best, and Supernatural re-he-healy needs to stop whipping out Ezekiel's magical angelic undo shortcut everytime someone we like bites it. That's two episodes in a row, guys, and that's kind of ridonkulous. I know, death has been pretty meaningless on this show for awhile now, but srsly? Stop it. STOP. IT. 


But hey, at least one side of the Winchester co-dependency tag-team decided to be proactive about the "Poor human Cas is totes gonna get shanked if someone doesn't help and hey why can't he chill in the Batcave, Dean?" situation when Sam thought it would be super-nifty to hack the Men of Letters' ancient security system/mainframe/robot butler (idk) to track angels and steer moral Castiel away from danger. Dean was initially apprehensive about the idea, what with an angel tracker in their clubhouse surely going to reveal the probably-evil angel hanging out in their clubhouse, but then he came around to it. I like to think the reason Dean hesitated was that he's already sick of Ezekiel's shenanigans, but there's also the possibility that he just couldn't come up with a convincing lie on the spot—not that any of his insta-lies have been convincing lately. SRSLY, SAM, U R LIKE THE DENSEST. 


Whatever, the point of repurposing the Bat-computer in "Slumber Party" wasn't so much about outing Zeke and sending Sammy into an angst-and-betrayal spiral (soon, my pretties, soon) as it was an excuse to invite Charlie Bradbury to sleep over. No, really. They marathoned Game of Thrones and everything and Sam whined about spoilers and Dean guilt-tripped his little bro over his refusal to consider the Bunker a home because we haven't had that argument yet this season and at four episodes in, we're running a little behind schedule. 

It makes perfect sense that Dean was so quick so alphabetize his porn stash and slap some posters on the walls while Sam stuck to the usual Winchester philosophy of "This is just a place where I sleep and summon demons sometimes," and Sam himself actually did a pretty solid job of explaining his reasoning. Dean remembers having a real home. Sam only really remembers squatting in abandoned buildings and dumpy motels. Anytime Sam has tried to commit to a real home, it's typically ended bloody and sad. You can make a case that the same notion applies to Dean—because it totally does; I mean, look at Lisa and look at Mary—but I think that the difference between Sam and Dean's philosophies really comes down to Dean being the oldest and having, however briefly, that boring civilian normalcy that Sam's never had. Even at Stanford, or with Amelia, Sam had the knowledge of hunting in his head, tainting everything. 


Sam has always wanted "normal," but his idea of normal is much more rigid than Dean's. Dean has experienced both worlds, and at this point in the series, realizes that the two can overlap. Yes, living in a supernatural bunker with a demon chained up in your basement is weird, but you can still have friends over for movie night and take delight in having a clean kitchen and all of that terribly mundane stuff that Sam wanted for the longest time. Dean just has insight that Sam lacks, and it'll be interesting to see the writers (hopefully) bring the brothers to a sort of understanding.


SO, once upon a time, Dorothy (Tiio Horn)—of reluctant Wizard of Oz fame—was actually the daughter of L. Frank Baum, a Men of Letters nerd who really liked his job. Baum's Oz books are similar to Carver Edlund's Supernatural books in that they're mostly true accounts, but Baum's are more heavily sanitized. Turns out, Dorothy followed her dad into Oz one day and ended up being recognized as the prophesied leader of the rebellion and sworn enemies of the Wicked Witch. Dorothy also became a hunter because daddy issues. When the witch escaped from Oz and ended up in our world, Dorothy tracked her down, and when the Men of Letters failed to come up with a permanent way to off the witch, Dorothy locked them both in a jar where they stayed for decades and decades until the jar broke during Dean's attempt to bust open the Commodore 64 (the name's sticking, I don't care how inaccurate it is) and this is pretty much the exact reason why the Winchesters aren't allowed to have nice things. This right here. Also the demon chained up in the basement. That too. And probably just the fact that they're Winchesters. 


The Wicked Witch's jailbreak prompted a lot of basic running around, all of it centered on a key to Oz that Dean had stashed in his sock drawer and the witch mind-whammying both brothers (WHAT GOOD ARE YOU, ZEKE?) until Charile kicked Dean in the nads and saved the day because "Slumber Party" wouldn't've been a Charlie Bradbury episode  of Supernatural unless her story ended with the only-marginally-angsty warm fuzzies. IDGAF. Still <3 her. Yay for going to Oz with Dorothy and being all girl-power and happy and whatever. "Slumber Party" was so girl-power and it didn't even know it—except for the part where Charlie died and went to heaven and was actually kind of enjoying it until Dean dragged her back, which is a running theme with Dean. But anyway, she got to see Oz and we got our obligatory reminder that Sam is currently possessed against his will. Sam's starting to wise up, though. He remembered Dean calling him "Zeke" before he blacked out. Now wise up a little faster, boo. I'm sick of looking at Dean's constant guilty-face. 

However, I'm never sick of stories involving the Men of Letters bunker, and this was a great one for showcasing a ton of features within its vast levels: the garage (OMG THE GARAGE), Sam's not-a-room, the kitchen, the computer system that apparently literally runs on magic, and even a glimpse, via flashback, of the bunker's early history—particularly the operations of the Men of Letters in its heyday, solidifying Sam and Dean's roles as the sole (as far as we know) legacies and caretakers of the new-and-improved (hey at least they aren't as sexist anymore?) organization. It's all very Luke-Skywalker-rebuilding-the-Jedi-order and I dig it. More of this—with or without the case-of-the-week vibe—and less guilty-face. 


What did you think of "Slumber Party"?


NOTES FROM THE APOCALYPSE

– What up with the bunker-hate, almost-everyone-in-this-episode? Windows would be nice (but really, really impractical and a definite liability of some sort), but I think "dump" is kind of harsh. Dated, sure, but retro is so in right now. 

–  Smart Winchester Sighting! I applaud the decision to only let Crowley write with crayons. I'm sure in time he'll figure out how to maim someone with a Crayola, but for now, better safe than sorry, right?

– "Magic and quests suck." Jeez, Sam. Where are your angel anti-depressants? Just last week you were all "LAAA EVERYTHING IS SO GREAT, DEAN, I'M HIGH ON LIFE AND NOT ON DEMON BLOOD YEAH" and this week you're stomping on the dreams of darling fangirl self-inserts and generally just moping around like it's Season 5 or something. 

– Poppy extract... so.. heroin bullets?


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